What keeps you busy when you’re not in the gym?
I’m a sports junkie. If it’s a live sporting event, I’m likely watching it. I like going to shows and shaking my booty with my friends.
What motivated you to become a CrossFitter?
After my college athletic career my idea of exercise was kicking empty pizza boxes out of my way to search for a donut in the kitchen. A friend, shocked at the sizable paunch I’d developed, said I needed to try CrossFit. Despite my trepidation, I agreed to meet him the next day for a WOD. 5 rounds of 15 burpees + 20 swings + 75 double unders later I was on the ground writhing in agony, and I was hooked. That was 4 years and 4 waist sizes ago.
What’s been your biggest challenge in the gym?
Staying out of my head. It’s easy for me to defeat myself before picking up the bar to do a snatch, or to convince myself during round 3 of a 5 round WOD that I need to rest. But the payoff for staying mentally tough, trusting my mechanics on an Olympic lift, and digging deep to grind through a difficult element of a WOD when I’m smoked is empowering, so it’s a challenge I relish.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment in the gym?
Seeing my overhead squat come together. Less than 6 months ago I couldn’t do one overhead squat with an empty bar. I have worked hard on my mobility and strength and now, although I’m still working toward my goal, I can get to full depth with 125# overhead.
How has CrossFit carried over to your life outside the gym?
CrossFit has facilitated significant personal growth for me. I am stronger physically and mentally and feel like I am prepared to handle anything that’s thrown at me. I am more confident in my ability to complete difficult tasks because I know that I am capable of persevering in the face of adversity—this is likely attributable to “Fight Gone Bad” and “Murph.” But the most clear-cut example of CrossFit carrying over to my life outside the gym are the relationships that have been cultivated in the gym. I love my TTCF peeps and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have landed in the Twin Cities with you badasses.
Any advice for people just getting started?
Don’t despair if the WODs are daunting at first. CrossFit crushes and humbles veterans and beginners alike. Don’t worry about your times or compare yourself to anyone else. Push yourself, enjoy yourself, even laugh at yourself. Also, be proud of yourself because you’re working hard. Participate in our community events. When I moved here I didn’t know one person. I have since formed friendships that will last for life with people at TTCF. Those smiling faces you see on the TV every time you walk through the doors belong to some pretty amazing and inspiring people. Get to know them. And keep track of what you do in the gym so you can see your progress. This is huge.